The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61138   Message #981232
Posted By: Rick Fielding
11-Jul-03 - 10:02 AM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger's Banjo virtuosity
Subject: Pete Seeger's Banjo virtuosity
I've been playing "pete Seeger's American Favourite ballads Vol 2" (from Smithonian Folkways) lately and I'm one again struck by how well he plays the banjo. These cuts are from the fifties when he was still at the top of his game and I'm wondering has anyone else done any deconstruction on his style?

Naturally his political situation (and songs) have taken almost all the notice away from his picking skills, but boy, even though he insisted on only one take per song, the sublty, taste and occasional flash just to keep your eyebrow's raised are there.

His accompaniement to "House of the Rising Sun" is superb (although a friend of mine...supposedly musical... said "That's pretty awful isn't it? (!!)

His even earlier album "Goofing Off Suite" (from perhaps 1952) was simply stunning (remember the two part Beethoven?) and in sheer skill rivaled anything anyone else has done since.......but I guess when your America's favourite Commie Subversive folksinger nobody notices a finger busting three minute tremolo.

I saw him first in the mid sixties and he'd already started to lose the subtleties but boy, from '49 to 59' this guy was simply the best.

Like many others I idolize Pete, he's my all-time hero, but does anyone wanna talk about the nuts and bolts of his style?